Pot legalization is the clear answer

Referring to Valerie McKone’s heart-wrenching letter “Fighting for medicinal pot”

Referring to Valerie McKone’s heart-wrenching letter “Fighting for medicinal pot” (Star, January 18) unfortunately it gets worse. Health Canada, no doubt under a big squeeze from the Conservative government, is planning to withdraw the right of doctor-approved patients to grow their own medicinal marijuana. The arguments for this are disingenuous. Apparently some indoor legal medicinal grow-ops have been broken into and raided. Well, following this logic we should close all corner stores since many of these in cities have been repeatedly burglarized. Also, some licensed growers of medicinal marijuana have abused the privilege by growing too much and selling to the black market. This is a police problem, and would be vastly reduced if all licensed marijuana growers were obliged to register with their local police office and had the ever-present possibility of being inspected.

In the big picture, it is high time the government took notice of the facts about marijuana. It is safer than aspirin, less addictive than coffee, does not lead to violence like alcohol does, and does not cause cancer like cigarettes do — in fact it can alleviate it. There is no known lethal dose. Marijuana is illegal because of the momentum of historical expediency and current political cowardice, period. There are no good reasons to make it a crime to use marijuana. If and when we get a decent federal government, they will legalize marijuana because it’s the right thing to do and the majority of Canadians want it. Until then a lot of good people will go to prison. Whose side are you on?

Keith Newberry

Slocan, BC